Turkey Acts as A Broker in Iraqi Oil Revenue Share

Source: Reuters 11/15/2013, Location: Middle East

Turkey has proposed oil revenues from Iraqi Kurdistan be collected in an escrow account at a Turkish state bank and then distributed between the regional government and the central government in Baghdad, Turkey's energy minister said.

Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region have been at loggerheads over the distribution of oil revenues and Turkey's persistent courtship of the Kurds has infuriated the central government, which claims the sole authority to manage Iraqi oil.

"We are trying to establish a method which we believe will counter the concerns of the central Iraqi government ... So far, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and central government have not been able to establish the system they wished," Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters.

"The distribution of the revenues would be carried out by Iraq, we would only hold these deposits at a Turkish state bank," he said.

Yildiz said he discussed the proposal with Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani during a visit to South Korea last month but added that nothing has been finalised.

Yildiz also said Turkey was in talks with the KRG about joint exploration on 13 oil and gas blocks.

The Turkish Energy Company (TEC), a state-backed vehicle established to operate in Iraqi Kurdistan, is aiming to partner with a third party in six of the blocks, Yildiz said, adding talks for the potential contracts have not been finalised.

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